The thought of a loafer breaking into your home and stealing your valuables is enough to scare many to security measures like an expensive alarm system or a large, barking dog. But even if you already have a secure home, your valuables can still be at risk.
What about home maintenance professionals or other workers who come and go during home projects? Maybe your broke cousin, who you never trusted, pushed you into staying in the spare room for a few nights while on vacation. Even friends could get sticky fingers when they stumble upon an expensive piece of jewelry or a roll of cash in a drawer or closet.
Gone are the days of hiding money under the mattress, replaced by all sorts of nifty places to stash valuables, sometimes in plain sight. That’s why it can be useful to know secret hiding places around the house.
Read on to discover clever ways to hide valuables around the house.
A word of caution when hiding cash at home
Having some cash on hand is generally a good idea for many people, but don’t take the tips in this article to mean that it’s wise to stash large amounts of cash at home – especially when inflation is high.
So if you’re looking for a safe place to hide thousands of dollars or more, consider a high-yield savings account or CD or inflation-linked government bonds like Series I bonds instead.
However, to cleverly conceal small amounts of cash – and various other valuables – consider the following options.
1. Back of a watch
Wall clocks typically have battery compartments behind the face. However, some also have additional compartments or cavities on the back, which are ideal for hiding an extra key or cash.
You might find a clock with perfect hiding places at a retail store, or even get a good deal at a flea market. But if you want one made specifically for hiding purposes, you can also find a good selection of watch safes on Amazon and other online marketplaces.
2. tennis ball
If you have tennis balls around the house, these hollow balls are great hiding places for small valuables that you don’t want to see.
Cut a narrow slit down one side or along the top of a tennis ball and you have a stash, as we detail in 8 Clever Ways to Use Tennis Balls Around the House. However, if you are a dog owner, remember which tennis ball NOT to throw to Fido.
3. Double bottom drawer
If you’re moderately skilled and know how to safely operate a table saw, you can create a false bottom in a dresser or other closet drawer that gives an inch or two to hide valuables.
For step-by-step instructions, check out this video from Life Hack YouTube channel The King of Random, which explains how to build a false bottom drawer that can fool just about anyone.
4. Wrong food or drink containers
OK, maybe you don’t put on safety goggles to operate a table saw and your dog has been talking all your tennis balls. But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy pre-made secret stash containers to stick in the back of your pantry or medicine cabinet.
You can find all kinds of hollow stash containers designed to look like something else on Amazon — including soup and vegetable jars, water bottles, and salt jars. For outside the pantry, there are containers of sunscreen, shaving cream, and even tire cleaning foam.
Of course, if you fancy a DIY project, you might be able to secure your own distraction, as these hiding spots are sometimes called.
5. Empty paint can
If you have an almost empty can of paint in the garage or basement, you can scrape off the remaining paint and wash and dry the inside. Now you have a spacious space to store all kinds of valuables, documents or other items that you don’t want to see.
6. Under the lining of an old tennis shoe
If there’s one thing you can be sure of in life, it’s that no one wants a whiff of your stinky tennis shoes. In other words, old sneakers are the perfect place to hide cash under the insoles.
Straighten the bills and lay them flat under the lining of those tennis shoes you never wear. Then stash them with other old shoes that you use for lawn or garden work.
7. Buried in a potted plant
Potted plants add greenery, release oxygen into your home, and even remove toxins from your indoor air. But did you know that potted plants can also serve as unobtrusive hiding spots for cash and valuables? For example, you can roll up cash, put it in an empty prescription drug bottle, and bury it in the pot.
However, be careful what you bury in this potting soil. The last thing you need is to ruin an expensive watch that got wet because water got into the case.
8. Tub of kitty litter
Not even the most dedicated cat burglar is going to be scratching around a tub of (unused) cat litter looking for valuables to steal. So place jewelry, cash, or other valuable items in a sealed plastic or glass container and bury your stash several inches from the top.
Then place this unassuming stash in the corner of the basement or closet, where it will appear as if it’s just another essential accessory every cat owner has on hand.
9. About basement ceiling panels
If you have square ceiling tiles in your basement, they probably have at least 3 inches of space above them – and they’re easy to remove and put back without leaving any signs of tampering.
While you don’t want to place heavy objects over ceiling tiles, there are plenty of other items to hide up there. Money, jewelry and important documents to name a few. Just make a note of which ceiling tile you chose so you don’t spend the weekend trying to find Grandma’s heirloom brooch or your cousin’s probate documents.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links in our stories.